ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus recently served as home to a “class reunion” between actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan and E:60’s manager of features Vin Cannamela.
On June 16, Gaffigan participated in a “Car Wash” in advance of his upcoming TVLand sitcom “The Jim Gaffigan Show.” Cannamela got wind of Gaffigan’s visit the night before and – with the help of E:60 coordinating producer Ben Houser – plotted to surprise his fellow 1988 Georgetown graduate. Houser captured their first meeting in 27 years in the video above.
Cannamela, a 21-year ESPN employee, provides details on their undergrad days when he honed his “Bruce Springsteen” impressions, Gaffigan refined his quick wit and they were prized “dream dates.”
When was the last time you had spoken to Gaffigan?
Jim and I met at Georgetown University as freshmen and the last time I saw him was when we graduated in 1988. I’ve been to several reunions where many of my classmates hoped to see Jim to congratulate him on all his success. But due to his schedule, he’s never made it back to campus. Jim played football at Georgetown and served as master of ceremonies for several senior class events. Everyone knew he was funny and great at improvising but no one could have predicted his rise to stardom.
Gaffigan says “it’s only appropriate that you’d work here.” Why would he think so?
Jim, like most of my classmates, knew of my love of sports and broadcasting. Georgetown did not offer a communications major, in fact there was only one journalism class. I was a finance major who threw it all away and went to Boston University for a Masters in Broadcast Journalism.
What were the circumstances surrounding the “dream dates” referenced in the video?
At Georgetown we had a senior auction to raise money for Senior Week events and activities. Seniors voted for two men and two women to be “dream dates.” Jim won because he was and is extremely funny. I must have won because I paid classmates to stuff the ballot box. Anyway, at the senior auction we performed a partial strip tease act and two of our female friends who had lots of money to burn paid big bucks for the “privilege” of having dinner with me and Jim. We went to F. Scott’s on 36th Street and had a great time.
If you could work with Gaffigan on any project for ESPN, what might it be and why?
Jim is from Indiana and is a huge Indianapolis Colts fan – in fact he tried out for the Colts last summer. With his humor and unique insights, Jim could provide tremendous contributions to an E:60 profile on Andrew Luck.
What song did you perform as “Bruce Springsteen?”
Both junior and senior year, I fronted a Bruce Springsteen “air band.” The songs we played included “Cadillac Ranch,” “Out in the Street” and “10th Avenue Freeze Out.” It might have been my greatest accomplishment at Georgetown.
Video produced by Ben Houser and Jonothon Halley-McLeod